As eating out has become more popular, restaurants have become far more casual. Unless you're headed to a five-star establishment for your anniversary dinner, a lot more goes in terms of dress and dining etiquette than a decade ago. Still, there are a few "dining rules" that many people still feel they must adhere to. Below, you'll learn how and why you should break free of these dining rules and start enjoying restaurant meals with more freedom.
Rule 1: Order red wine with beef, and white wine with chicken or seafood.
So many diners blindly adhere to this rule, even if they don't particularly like one style of wine or another. If you're not a fan of red wine, don't order it with your steak just because you're worried the server will judge your apparent lack of sommelier knowledge. You're the one paying for your meal, so if you want to drink a sweet Reisling with your filet or a dry Merlot with your chicken cordon bleu, you have every right to do so.
Rule 2: If one person orders a salad or an appetizer, everyone at the table should follow suit.
It was once considered rude not to order a first course if your dining partner did so, since you'd then essentially be watching them eat while awaiting your main course. However, if it does not bother you to sit there while your dining partner eats, you should not feel pressured into ordering that first course if you don't want it. Your waistline will probably thank you for sticking to just the main course, anyways.
Rule 3: It's rude to try someone else's food.
If your dining partner is willing to let you try their special chicken dish, then go ahead and try it. How else will you know whether or not to order it the next time you visit? There is, however, a polite way to share food if you're in an upscale eatery. Have your dining partner put a small portion of his or her meal on a salad or bread plate, and then pass it to you. If you don't have an extra plate, you can ask him or her to put a portion directly on your main meal plate.
Whether dining at a middle-of-the-road or upscale restaurant, it is still important to mind your manners. Put your napkin on your lap, don't rest your elbows on the table, and treat your server kindly. Do not, however, feel pressured into ordering anything you don't like, or feel like you must enjoy your food a certain way in order to conform. It's your meal and your dining experience. Breaking the rules above is encouraged.
For more information, contact Riptide Marine Pub Grill & Catering or a similar location.